|This article is authored by Dick Leggatt, President of Derek Prince Ministries – USA and comprises his October 10, 2013 Newsletter.Click here to receive the Derek Prince Ministries emailed E-devotional.|
Has the devil ever ripped you off? How many times have you been the victim of the enemy’s acts of thievery? Are you facing some of the pain of those losses even now? Would you like to consider the prospect of getting back what the enemy has stolen from you?
If you answered “YES” to any of those questions, this letter may be for you!
Should We Take Action?
I recently got a note from someone on the Derek Prince mailing list. It came by way of the return flyer for our monthly letter which is used to submit prayer requests and testimonies. (By the way, we really enjoy the responses you send, and regularly read them and pray over them at staff gatherings.) Whether this particular writer’s request was serious or in jest, it caused me to chuckle . . . then to reflect. Here it is:
“Please pray for me to receive two and a half million dollars and a Mercedes Benz as payment from the Devil for all of my giving and tithing that I’ve done over the past years. I’ve caught him stealing my money.”
Maybe you have caught the devil stealing some of your money as well. Or maybe he has stolen from you in other areas of your life — like your peace of mind, your relationships, success in your career, family harmony with your loved ones, your sense of joy. The list of potential losses could be pretty lengthy. Even the thought of that list may be painful to you right now.
So what do we do about this? Do we simply take these losses in stride? Or might there be positive action we can take to recover what has been stolen?
David Recovered All
A number of years ago, a close friend of mine shared his insights with me on one of the most encouraging biblical accounts of recovering what’s been stolen. It has become one of my favorite passages.
In 1 Samuel 30 we discover David’s experience at Ziklag, when he and his men returned to their camp to find that the Amalekites had abducted their wives, sons and daughters and burned everything else to the ground. Scripture says very clearly that no one had been killed — but it was all gone.
The passage tells us that David’s men wept over the loss until they had no more strength to weep. They were so distraught that they even entertained thoughts of stoning David for his responsibility in this calamity. In this alarming situation, David had to run to the Lord to strengthen himself. But even more, the Word says that David also inquired of the Lord. At a time when he could have been tempted to distance himself from the Lord in resentment over the unfairness of this loss and his men’s bitterness toward him, David instead drew close to the Lord. Here is what he asked God in verse 8 of 1 Samuel 30, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”
The Lord supplied immediate, clear direction in response to David’s questions: “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” The rest of chapter 30 relates the outcome of David moving in obedience to this word from the Lord. Verses 18-19 sum it up the best: “So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away. . . . . And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.”
Are you sensing a spark of encouragement from this word? Are you ready to pursue?
Reclaiming Our Inheritance
Derek Prince had a great deal of teaching on the topic of spiritual warfare. He understood very clearly that our confrontations with our enemy, the thief, usually require a fight. He deals with that topic in the following segment from Part 2 of a teaching series called, “Claiming Our Inheritance.” It focuses on the related theme of fighting to receive our inheritance.
“To gain experiential possession of our inheritance as Christians, we need to follow the example of Israel. It’s not enough just to line up on the east bank of the river and look across at our inheritance and say, “I’ve got it all.” I have met people who have told me, “I got it all when I accepted Jesus.” My answer is, “You got it all legally, but you don’t necessarily have it all experientially.” That is exactly illustrated by the experience of Israel.
Many times people have it all in theory; they have it all in doctrine; but they don’t have it in real experience. This is where we have to apply the lesson of Joshua. What are the principles that apply to us? These are the main principles:
First of all, where necessary, God will do miracles. But God will not do miracles where they’re not necessary.
Secondly, like Israel, for most of our inheritance we will have to fight. We will not enter into our inheritance unless we are prepared to take on the powers of darkness that oppose us and defeat them with the weapons God has made available to us. Christians who will not fight will not enter their inheritance.
There’s a rather vulgar word that is used in common speech today. It’s the word “guts.” (Doesn’t sound good in a sermon — some people call it “intestinal fortitude.”) But I want to suggest that you probably will get to heaven without theology. I doubt whether you will get there without “guts.” It takes “guts” to be a Christian. It takes “guts” to enter our inheritance.
The third principle from Israel under Joshua is this: we have to set our feet on what God has promised us. We have to take possession of it individually and personally for ourselves.”
What About Your Situation?
Are you ready to enter the fight? We’re about to do that together. Take a few minutes first to do a little inventory. Let the Lord bring to mind some incidents where the devil clearly stole something the Lord wanted you to have. It might be a relationship with a close friend that was lost because of an unguarded comment or a slight misunderstanding. It might be a sum of money you were supposed to receive that ended up in someone else’s pocket. It might even be a loved one who has been taken captive by the enemy.
Why not take a minute now to bring this matter before the Lord? Ask Him the same questions David asked: “Should I pursue this situation, Lord? What steps should I take, and will I have a successful result if I pursue it?”
One aspect of David’s story that I really appreciate is that he inquired of the Lord. He didn’t react presumptuously, saying, “My enemy stole something from me, and come hell or high water, I’m going to get it back!” In his humility and brokenness, David first drew close to the Lord, asking God what He wanted him to do. I have a sense that David may have been prepared for the answer that Job expressed: “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). We, too, may need to be prepared to say to the Lord concerning the stolen item: “I’ll just let it go.”
More likely, the Lord will probably direct you to move forward with a positive declaration and corresponding actions. His direction to you may be what He told David: “Pursue! For you will surely overtake them, and you will recover all.” Let’s obey Him!
Taking a Bold Step
Assuming that the Lord has directed you to move forward in this matter, let’s do so together with the following declaration and prayer:
Lord, I recognize that the enemy has stolen from me, and I want to take action against him. Lord Jesus, You Yourself said that the thief has come only to steal, to kill and to destroy — but You came to give us life in abundance. I take my stand with You, Jesus — and in Your name, I say to the enemy who is trying to steal from me, “The Lord rebuke you!”
Also, in those matters in which the enemy has been able to steal something from me, I declare that by the word of the Lord, I am going to pursue him, overtake him and recover what he stole. I am demanding in Jesus’ name that he give back what he has taken! My goods, my relationships, my health, my family — I receive it all back by faith right now.
Thank You, Lord, for helping me to recover what has been stolen in these various areas of my life. I give You the glory and the honor for Your redemptive work on my behalf. Amen.
By that prayer, you have just set in motion a very redemptive course of action in your life. May that process continue until you have recovered everything the enemy has stolen! Some matters may require more time, involving specific, practical steps. But we are honored to stand with you in the process you have begun today. May the Lord strengthen you as you draw near to Him and pursue His redemptive purpose for your life!
As always, it is our privilege to help you in your walk with the Lord. One of the best ways for us to accomplish that is by providing you with solid teaching materials. In that regard, we want to offer the full message of Part 2 of “Claiming Our Inheritance” from which we drew Derek’s excerpt earlier in the letter. Simply download it by clicking here, and you will have it immediately. I know it will help you.
One reason we are able to offer Derek’s material to those who request it is because of your gracious participation with us in this ministry. As a result of your prayers and financial support, we are in a strong position to make Derek’s materials available — not only here in the U.S. but all around the world. Thank you for being such a vital part of the work of DPM through your prayers and gifts.
Now it’s time to fight. It’s time to go forward in the recovery process you have begun. Won’t it be wonderful to stand together in glory, giving our testimony to God’s faithfulness in our lives? We will all testify together: “The Lord enabled us to recover ALL! We have gotten back all that was stolen by the enemy.”
All the best,
P.S. Thank you again for your faithful partnership with us. We are so grateful to you! Please make sure to take advantage of our offer to download Derek’s full message of Part 2 of “Claiming Our Inheritance” by clicking here.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.